As many of you know, I took up long-distance running a number of years ago. Before that, I had always resisted the idea of running marathons because I thought only crazy people did them. Now that I’ve run some, I KNOW that’s true! Nonetheless, I press on thinking that with more experience, they’ll get easier. They don’t.
To properly prepare for a marathon, you need to gradually increase the mileage of your training runs. And as the miles pile up, your body starts to communicate to you in new ways. Mine says things like, “Why not take up bowling instead? Or, better yet, chess?” But seriously, there really is one thing my body tells me frequently: “I’m thirsty!”
Thirst is actually beneficial for us all, because it clues us in to the fact that our bodies are lacking essential fluids. It prompts us to go after what is needed for our physical health. If we don’t hydrate, our bodies will fail. Well, in much the same way, there also is an essential thirst when it comes to our spiritual health — for more of the power of the Spirit of God to be at work in our lives.
We know that the Spirit of God is imperative if our lives are going to be what God intends for them to be. Unfortunately, there are far too many times we simply choose to operate in our own power, instead of the power that is available through the Holy Spirit. That leaves us with diminished capacity and out of step with the will of God. You might think that would motivate us to go after it with all we have, but we often don’t. Why not? Because we’re not thirsty!
We need to become spiritually thirsty people who will stop at nothing to drink our fill of God’s Spirit. So how do you become thirsty? Well, when it comes to physical thirst, activity leads to need. So it is with spiritual thirst. If you are living a spiritually sedentary life, you’re not going to feel any urgency for more of the Spirit of God. If you’re not living by faith, beyond your own abilities, there will be no compelling need for God to supply.
If you want to be thirsty, you need to stretch yourself outside your own supply. Only then will you get serious about going after it. At a recent retreat with Pathway elders, staff and their spouses, we focused our attention and prayers on becoming a thirstier church. I invite you on this journey that together will lead us to lives of deeper faith and deeper impact for the kingdom of God.
So, are you thirsty?